How to make vegetarian mushroom gnocchi with walnut pesto

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Gnocchi make a really nice alternative to pasta. They’re just as easy to cook and equally versatile in terms of how you sauce them. The recipe below offers a really nice twist on pesto pasta – made with earthy mushrooms and a rich walnut-based pesto. It makes a satisfying vegetarian meal.
You can use just about any type of mushrooms you like. I usually use a basic button or cremini mushroom because those are widely available all year, but if you luck into some seasonal wild mushrooms – porcini, chanterelles or another flavorful variety – by all means, use those! If you don’t have cream or half-and-half, you can use milk or even just a splash of plain water or the gnocchi cooking water to thin the sauce.
Cooktop Cove
Mushroom gnocchi with walnut pesto
10 minutes
20 minutes
30 minutes
1 cup walnutrs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove
Kosher salt (optional)
Fresh ground pepper (optional)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon butter
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
1-1/2 pounds gnocchi
1 tablespoon heavy cream or half-and-half
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
2 tablespoons flatleaf parsley, minced
Pro tip: 2 cups of leafy dark greens (spinach, baby kale, arugula)
In a food processor, combine the walnuts, cheese, olive oil, garlic and lemon juice and pulse to a thick, chunky paste.
Cook the gnocchi al dente, cooking for around 3/4 of the suggested cook time. Drain.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper to taste, and stir frequently until the mushrooms are nicely browned, about 6 minutes.
Add the gnocchi to the skillet and then add half of the pesto mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, until the gnocchi are browned, about 5 minutes more.
Stir the cream into the remaining pesto and stir into the gnocchi.
Just before serving, sprinkle parsley on top.
Pro tip: Upon serving, garnish with fresh basil.
Pro tip: Add leafy dark greens between step 4 and 5, allowing to wilt, while stirring into the gnocchi mix.
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